The final fixture looms large

By Katie Garner

Once April hits, you know the league match season will spit and shudder to an inelegant halt, with finishing fixtures hurriedly planned and played, and members jet-setting away for Easter, not really in the mood to grind the gears on court.  For Division One of the ladies pairs, the concluding collisions take place at Harold Hill, where rather strikingly they have only set up a single court occupying centre stage of the dust-filmed community hall floor, a single file row of grey plastic chairs lined up court side. Although not exactly centre court at Wimbledon, it is rather eerie not having the reassuring distractions of more courts nearby housing equally agitated players.

The division was one pair down tonight as Donna from Harold Hill was actually partner-less, meaning she couldn’t even play in her own home game. Luckily for us though, that meant we could sneak an automatic win as we were due to play them. Sitting pretty at the bottom of the score table, I’m quite happy to nab points in any way, shape or form at this stage.

With Janet by my side and her hubby David manning up the majority female audience row, we were due to take on Corinthians B, who had also swapped in a reserve for one of their players. After watching them take on their team mates in Corinthians A, we were on next.


  •          14-21 / 20-21

Ok, so things didn’t entirely go to plan, despite having a rather nifty comeback in the second game, which saw us take it to 20-20, which I don’t think Corinthians B were expecting at all. I’ll readily admit I didn’t play my best in the first game, missing shots that I knew I could handle, such as high swinging clears, with my cross court drop shot finding the net much more often than it found its mark. Unfortunately I think I was a wee bit affected by stage fright, due to the slightly intimidating court layout, which is silly really as we’ve known these ladies for ages now. I just find being watched play rather off-putting which I think hampered my game somewhat although I tried not to let it bother me.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom however as we did play some good stuff as well. My short serve came in handy encouraging some lovely lifts for Janet to attack from the rear of the court, and she was a fireball at the net with lots of interactive interception to throw our opponents off balance. I played some tidy drops which Janet was able to finish off when they attempted to lift and I thing we did have some rallies where our placement of straight line clears were spot on. Unfortunately, I just don’t think the games flowed that well for us, and we just couldn’t hit our groove. I managed to whack the low ceiling a couple of times as well, which they delightedly informed us meant that they received the point. Corinthians B played really well, but I can’t help feeling unsatisfied as I don’t think I played my best to really give a good show of it. At least by getting relatively decent scores as well as a near win in the second game will still aid our flailing point total.

The only match left on the score card to play now is a mixed match on the 23rd April against the Emerson Eagles. If we win against these guys we could take the division so please keep all fingers crossed and engage in luck-inducing rituals with as much fervour as you can muster!